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Do You Recommend Primers and Plastic Pipe Cleaners?

Wondering whether you should use a primer or plastic pipe cleaner for your next plumbing project? You’re not alone! This is a question that is frequently asked of and debated by plumbing renovators.

Many professionals argue that using a cleaner and primer ensures that pipes fit more snugly in addition to providing a protective barrier. Others, however, argue that they are an often unnecessary step in the renovation process.

In our expert opinion, we recommend that a primer/cleaner is always used when completing plumbing projects.

Prepare the Surface with a Cleaner

The first step in completing a PVC solvent weld is to properly clean the pipes. Also known as “dry fitting,” this process is done to ensure the pipes will fit tightly. By cleaning the pipes, anything that can weaken the joint – such as dirt or oil – is removed from the surface.

It’s important to note that on its own, a cleaner does not prepare or soften the pipe in preparation for gluing and assembly.

Provide a Stronger Connection with a Primer

While many people think that cement is enough to hold pipes together, the actual welding comes from the primer.

How? The active ingredient in PVC primer (a chemical named tetrahydrofuran) dissolves the surfaces of the PVC. This creates a seamless connection between pipe and fitting. Because the tetrahydrofuran does not penetrate underneath the surface, an adhesive is needed to ensure the pipe and fitting remain together.

After adding primer to the pipe, the smooth surface will become rougher. This roughness helps adhere the fitting and pipe together. Before the primer completely dries, it’s important to add the adhesive between the joints. Once both primer and PVC dry, the surface will harden again.

Combining Cleaners and Primers Together into One Product

Many times, cleaners and primers are combined together into one product so that the surfaces can be cleaned and softened in one step.

Unless the pipe you’re working with is really dirty and/or oily, you should be able to get away with a combined cleaner/primer product.

In the End, It’s Up to You!

In the end, choosing to use a primer/cleaner is a personal decision.

However, if you decide to use a primer/cleaner, it’s important that you choose the proper product for your project. With the wide variety of cleaners, glues, etc. available for PVC, CPVC and ABS, it’s important to ensure the products you purchase will work cohesively together for what you require.

Still Confused? Call the Experts!

Sometimes, it’s best to simply call the experts when completing a plumbing renovation!

Founded in 2001, A. McKenna Plumbing has earned a solid reputation completing quality plumbing services for the Oakville and surrounding area. With a history of providing trustworthy, superior services, our professional team prides itself on completing each plumbing job to the highest of standards.

See for yourself why A. McKenna Plumbing has the reputation it does in the plumbing industry! Contact us today to learn more about our services.